Red Cross Shelter Training - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Red Cross Shelter Training

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Are you interested in becoming a Red Cross volunteer? Would you like to learn how to set up a shelter during a disaster? 

The Red Cross of Montana is holding a free volunteer recruitment and training workshop Oct. 13-14 at the Morledge Kimball Room 119 and 125 at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, 1511 Poly Drive.

. From 5 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 13, participants will get an overview of how Red Cross deploys and manages resources during a disaster such as a wildfire or flood, and prepares for them before they happen.

On Oct. 14 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., attendees will learn how to set up, manage and take down a shelter. Participants also will familiarize themselves with duties performed when running a shelter during a disaster.

During Montana’s most recent wildfire season, the Red Cross opened 18 shelters in all corners of the state serving communities including Jordan, Roundup, Hays, Lame Deer, Wolf Creek, Superior, Plains and Missoula.  More than 188 overnight shelter stays were recorded and 1,000 meals served, much of this made possible by Red Cross’ talented team of volunteers.

“Volunteers are the backbone of the Red Cross,” said Abbra Firman, American Red Cross disaster program manager for Eastern Montana. “The time, expertise and compassion our volunteers provide to neighbors near and far is inspiring. Red Cross volunteers are from all walks of life, so I invite people to come find out what we are all about and see if they might want to join the Red Cross volunteer family.”

Red Cross has 15 trailers prepositioned across Montana that have the equipment needed to shelter as many as 50 people each, giving evacuees a safe place to stay, food, emotional support and other services.

“It’s just rewarding to know you helped alleviated suffering for one person or a group of people in a shelter,” said Lora Ercanbrack, volunteer disaster action team lead in Lincoln County. “Maybe they were hungry and you were able to give them a meal or they were cold in the middle of the night and you can give them a safe place to rest. That’s what matters most.”

The two-day course is capped at 30 participants, but a waiting list will be kept and future training scheduled if necessary. Those interested are asked to attend both days.

Please register by noon on Oct. 11 at

For more information, call Abbra Firman at 210-8286.

Visit and click on volunteer to learn more about becoming a Red Cross volunteer.

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